Friday, March 26, 2010

Garlic, Budgeting, and Meal Planning

So last weekend, I finally got my seeds planted. So far, no signs of germination, but that's normal. I planted cilantro, basil, tomatoes, and soapwort in small containers. The parsley went in the hanging tub, to keep it from taking over, and the peas are supposed to be directly sown, so I put them in one of the big tubs. I'm waiting on the beans, as they're supposed to be directly sown, once chance of frost is past. Since it's getting below freezing tonight (have to bring my parsley pot in), it was a good choice to wait on those. Perhaps next weekend, when it will (hopefully) be warmer.

The little brown things in the middle are toilet paper rolls. I wish I could say I thought of it myself, but alas, like most good ideas, I got it from another blog. The trick is keeping the soil moist. I expect when I finally do get to planting them (four tomatoes and a basil, hopefully), the paper itself will be pushed aside by roots and eventually biodegrate into the potting soil. At least that's the plan, anyway. Not sure how it'll work, though, since I don't plant in the ground. Guess I'll find out!

In other news, the garlic I planted back in January or February (yes, I know, later than the winter equinox or sometime in November) is coming up! I hope it will be do better than last year's did (though I planted that set very late - May, I think.) Regardless, this time I'm more on the proverbial ball.

I'll also plant one or two of the eggplant seeds that I received free from the seed company. Admittedly, I'm not much of an eggplant fan (alright, I admit it, I haven't actually ever had eggplant). Hopefully having 'Thai White Ribbed Eggplant' will convert me.

In financial news, I've started a budget. I downloaded a 'Personal Monthly Budget' spreadsheet to use with Excel and I've now planned out my budget (loosely, since some months I'll need more gas or fewer groceries) for the next few months. I know when (when!) I'll have my credit card/student loan/other charged things paid off, and I know how much I'll start putting away in the savings account, which I've actually started! *gasp* Hopefully, I'll have several months' worth of expenses tucked away, with a bit of planning and not spending my extra on ordering out.

And that brings me to the fact that, along with the budget, I'm also doing meal planning. I went a bit off script today (getting fish tacos since I had $5 free, so my meal only cost me $2.33!), but the macaroni and cheese in my freezer will keep. So far, I'm really enjoying it. It's a weight off my shoulders not to have to wonder what I'll be having - or if I'll have everything I need. That was usually half the reason I would order in (the other being laziness).

So if anyone has any tips on gardening, budgeting, or meal plans, I'd love to hear them! :)

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